Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genome Sequence Reveals Leaner, Meaner Intestinal Parasite

Date:
March 31, 2004
Source:
NIH/National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases
Summary:
Cryptosporidium parvum — an insidious, one-celled, waterborne parasite that lodges in the intestines of infected people and animals and for which there is currently no effective treatment — is missing key structures normally found in similar parasites.

Cryptosporidium parvum — an insidious, one-celled, waterborne parasite that lodges in the intestines of infected people and animals and for which there is currently no effective treatment — is missing key structures normally found in similar parasites, say researchers supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health. The results of their genome sequencing project, now available in the online issue of Science, could help scientists home in on new drug targets that may lead to therapies for the disease.

C. parvum is an extremely hardy parasite found in water supplies throughout the world, including the United States. In persons with healthy immune systems, symptoms of infection include diarrhea, stomach cramps, upset stomach and fever. For persons with weakened immune systems, however, such as individuals with HIV/AIDS, symptoms may be more severe and can lead to serious or life-threatening illness. Because C. parvum could potentially be used as a bioterrorist agent, the NIAID has classified it as a Category B priority pathogen.

After reconstructing the predicted genes and resulting proteins of one form of C. parvum, researcher Mitchell S. Abrahamsen, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, and his team discovered that Cryptosporidium is missing two organelles commonly found in related protozoan parasites. Gone is the apicoplast, a cellular component that provides essential metabolic functions in related parasites, including those that cause malaria and toxoplasmosis, respectively. Also absent is the mitochondrion, the so-called "energy factory" found in the cells of most plants, animals, fungi and one-celled organisms. In addition, the researchers found that Cryptosporidium has significantly fewer genes than related parasites, and, as a result, can carry out fewer metabolic functions on its own.

Because Cryptosporidium has been so difficult to study up until now — presumably because its demands for energy and nutrients have made it virtually impossible to grow in the laboratory — the decoding of the genome sequence provides valuable opportunities to inform and study the organism's biology. And with an understanding of its biology, researchers are better positioned to find treatments that zero in on unique biological processes essential for the organism's survival.

NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism. NIAID also supports research on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies.

Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. "Genome Sequence Reveals Leaner, Meaner Intestinal Parasite." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040330091731.htm>.
NIH/National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. (2004, March 31). Genome Sequence Reveals Leaner, Meaner Intestinal Parasite. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040330091731.htm
NIH/National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. "Genome Sequence Reveals Leaner, Meaner Intestinal Parasite." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040330091731.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins